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Mobile game usage and revenue to overtake PC online games by 2018

SAN JOSE, Calif. – May 2, 2017 – Niko Partners, the leading experts on the Asian games market, today announced the availability of their 2017 China Digital Games Market Data Report with Forecast through 2021. According to the study, China will enjoy strong growth in digital gamers and games revenue in the next 5 years, to reach $35 billion USD in domestic revenue by 2021. Key takeaways from the 67-slide report include:

  • The China games market is projected to grow from $26 billion in 2017 to $35 billion in domestic revenue by 2021.
  • Mobile game revenue is the fastest growing segment and is projected to overtake PC online games in 2018, making up 58% of total games revenue in 2021.
  • PC online games will grow by a very modest 1.5% compounded annual growth rate through 2021, but there is major movement within the category between genres with MMORPGs in decline and MOBA and FPS in ascent, since they are social with team-based play and cost less than MMORPGs, and include the most popular games at this time.
  • TV-based games revenue (excluding grey market consoles) will only account for 1.2% the market by 2021, with Playstation currently leading the console wars by a large margin. We expect an increase in sales of grey market consoles as the global launch of new consoles occurs prior to the official entry into China.
  • 44% of the Chinese population in 2017 plays games, growing to 54% of the population, and almost 90% of all internet users, in 2021.
  • Esports is a driver of demand for PC and mobile games, and is also a driver in the uptick of use of I-cafes to play PC games.


“With $26 billion in domestic digital games revenue in 2017, the Chinese games market is the single most important market in the world for PC and mobile games,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners. “There are nearly 600 million gamers in China, which is nearly 2x the population of the United States, and with the proper effort to get to know them and the regulations of the country, this user base presents a great opportunity for global game developers and publishers.”

Niko’s methodology included an online survey of 1,000 gamers, interviews with executives at major Chinese games companies, payment companies, mobile game developers, and gamer profiles. The report provides market share estimates for game publishers by platform, and a list of their leading games. The analysis includes a comprehensive market model and 5-year forecast by country and games segment, and qualitative and quantitative analysis on gamer demand, behavior, and usage for PC online, mobile and TV-based games. The data-intensive 67-slide report with 53 exhibits is available now for $4,000 USD. For more information and to purchase visit or email


Niko Partners is the leader in Asian Games Market Intelligence™, specializing in the Chinese and Southeast Asian game markets. Founded in 2002 and in its 15th year of detailed analysis on the Chinese market, the firm conducts syndicated and custom research studies on Chinese gamers, Southeast Asian gamers, online games, mobile games, consoles, Smart TV gaming, regulatory issues, piracy, development, online operators, distribution, and retail. Niko Partners also offers consulting services including focus groups, partnership selection, market opportunity analysis, custom surveys in cities throughout China and the AsiaPacific region and customized data analysis. The goal of the research and strategic advisory services is to help understand the market, strategically enter or expand market share, and continue to profitably grow within China and Southeast Asia’s impressive markets. The company is based in Silicon Valley and Shanghai, and its clients include worldwide leaders in game software, hardware, and services, as well as hedge funds, media companies, trade associations, and management consulting firms, all of whom have a vested interest in a thorough understanding of the games industry in Southeast Asia and China.

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Lisa Cosmas Hanson Managing Partner
Niko Partners
wechat: lisacosmashanson
twitter @nikochina